The Cactus Garden was the last work of Cesar Manrique – a famous artist and architect – completed in Lanzarote in 1991. The garden has the shape of an amphitheater. Jardin de Cactus is located on the outskirts of Guatiza, on the way to Mala. From the road, you can easily find the entrance to the cactus garden, as there is an 8-meter-high cactus sculpture. From afar it looks like a real one.
This spectacular botanical garden contains approximately 10,000 types of cactus from more than 1,400 distinct species originating from America, Madagascar, and the Canary Islands. The collection was collected by the experienced botanist Estanisao Gonzalez Ferrer.
Cactus Garden – was based on an old quarry where volcanic ash was previously extracted, used by the peasants of Lanzarote to cover crops and retain nighttime humidity.
This is the area where the cochineal beetle was grown – an insect that lives in a cactus and whose larvae are used to produce a valuable natural dye – cochineal. Natural crimson paint obtained from the larva is used in textile and cosmetic industries and was especially valued in the past before the discovery of synthetic paints.
In the center of the amphitheater, stone monoliths are exhibited, which complement the design of the garden. There is a small pond with goldfish. On one side of the amphitheater stands an old windmill, restored in 1973 by Manrique, it used to make cornmeal.
The garden also has a small restaurant with a terrace, ideal for relaxing during the day of sightseeing, and a gift shop with handicrafts.
© Fortune, 2009